Science Olympiad



Science Olympiad is a national nonprofit organization established in 1983, devoted to improving the quality of K-12 science education, increasing female, male, and minority interest in science, creating a technologically-literate workforce and providing recognition of outstanding achievement in science education by students. These goals are achieved by participating in Science Olympiad tournaments and non-competitive events, after incorporating Science Olympiad into students’ studies.

Like the modern Olympic games, Science Olympiad encompasses many individual events that make up the whole competition. Under the umbrella of STEM, teams function much like a track or soccer team, requiring preparation, commitment, coaching and practice throughout the year. The interscholastic competitions provide a balance between events, requiring knowledge of science facts, concepts, processes, skills, and application.

There are 23 national events and 5 state-designated events from various scientific disciplines students prepare for during the year. Topics include biology, earth science, chemistry, physics, physical science, astronomy, anthropology, engineering, medicine, computers, and technology.

We further categorize events into study, lab, and build events:

  • Study events — involve learning material for written exams that may also include interactive stations. (Examples:  Anatomy & Physiology, Fossils, Meteorology, Rocks and Minerals)
  • Lab events — exams involve hands-on or active application of knowledge (Examples: Chemistry Lab, Forensics, Experimental Design)
  • Build events — involve a building project such as building a device to perform a given task at competition (Examples: Robot Arm, Trebuchet, Bottle Rockets)

2-3 partners are placed on each event to work together to prepare and compete. At each competition, several awards can be won, such as medals for events, trophies for overall team placement, and plaques for team spirit. Competitions are as follows:

  • Invitationals:  competitions sponsored by high schools or universities.  Our team will attend 2-3 invitational competitions between October-January.
  • Regionals: the qualifying competition for the state competition, usually held in March.
  • State: the top two or three teams from each regional competition progress to the state competition to compete against one another to represent Texas at the national competition. Usually held in April or early May.
  • Nationals: The top two middle school teams and first place high school team advances from our state tournament to nationals. Usually held in May.

Check out the 2020-2021 Rules to understand the fine details of each event.